This has been taken from a sermon preached from Matt 25:1-13 (Jesus’ parable of the Ten Virgins) entitled “Living without regrets”
We don’t know when Jesus will return for the second time in glory. But you better be ready or you’re going to have regrets just like the foolish women who ran out of oil and were then locked out of the party. Through the parable, Jesus gives us some hints about how to live a life without regrets.
1. The wise girls thought about their lives ahead of time
Verse 3 and 4: “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.”
The foolish girls didn’t think about the fact that they were going to a wedding in the dark and there might be problems. They did what was easy and didn’t plan ahead. Your spiritual life takes thoughtful planning.
Yes – there are cases like the thief on the cross or death-bed conversions, but that’s not the norm. If you keep saying to God, “I’ll deal with you later” – later may be too late. Today is the day of salvation! Today is the day of repentance and faith! Today is the day for new spiritual disciplines – new habits of prayer and scripture reading!
2. The wise girls took action when needed
Verses 6 and 7: “But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.”
If you are going to live a life without regrets; if you are going to be ready for the Lord Jesus then you are going to have to take action when God brings you the opportunity to serve him. Jesus’ second coming is going to be the fulfillment of what he has already started when he was here on earth.
When Jesus sends his disciples out on their own for the first time, Luke 9 tells us that he “he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” (Luke 9:2)
What did they do? Proclaimed the kingdom of God and healing. What did Jesus do? Preached the gospel and brought healing. What is God calling us as followers of Jesus to do? Preach the gospel and bring healing – just like Jesus and his disciples.
3. The wise girls didn’t get distracted by the foolish girls
Verse 8 and 9: “And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’”
It looks harsh on the surface of it – why didn’t the wise girls just share their oil? Because then neither girl would have enough to make it across town with a lit torch.
Jesus is warning us here not to get too distracted with our friends and family who haven’t responded to the gospel. Some won’t like it when we decide to follow Jesus. We should expect that. Wise girls – or should I say wise people – don’t get distracted by the all the commotion caused by the foolish people in our lives. Love them? Yes. But let our foolish friends draw us away from Jesus? No.
May Jesus empower you by His Spirit to live a life now that you won’t regret. A life of faith in the risen Jesus and a life of focused, thoughtful action in service of the King who is coming again in glory.